ZDNet needs to use its Big Boy voice

A “fan blog” such as mine can be expected to get a little silly now and then.  I am the sole owner/operator/writer of this blog and frankly, I’m in it mostly for my own amusement.  Sure, my inspiration is the vision of the Brammo company to “change the world two wheels at time,” but I don’t pretend to have much influence with that.  My blog seeks to compile the Brammo-related news and sprinkle it with a dose of my own insights here and there.  I don’t make money off this blog and given the fact that I’ve only been blogging for a few months, I think the reputational value of Brammofan.com is negligible.

ZDNet.com is a horse of a different color.  It’s been on the internet forever under various names and has a history stretching back to 1927.  So I was a bit surprised to see the latest article about the Brammo Enertia with a title like this:

Brrrrm! Brrrrm! Brammo makes a little noise.

It’s an article about the Enertia’s sound system.  The sound system, as I’ve written about previously, is actually a rather serious subject.  The author of this article apparently didn’t see it the same way:

The chips that manage the operation of this electric motorcycle will create sounds to let folks know you’re there. There’s a special sound for the acceleration from zero to 10 MPH. You can then customize your cycle’s “running sound.” Want to sound like a steam train? The clip-clop of a shod draft horse? Low-flying plane? Suit your fancy.

I might be wrong, but I thought that the Enertia was to have two sounds: the start-up sound, and the low speed sound, also called the “default” sound.  Brammo is going to have a contest soon that will allow participants to submit soundfiles for the default sound.  This leads me to believe that it has already developed, or is in the process of developing, a standard start-up sound.  There is no need for a “running sound” for when the cycle is going over 10 mph as a combination of tire-on-road sound and mechanical (chain drive and motor) sound provides enough of a “heads-up.”

I must admit that I submitted a clip-clop sound to the sound contest’s “unofficial” site, but I’m Brammofan.  I’m not-necessarily-to-be-taken-seriously.  I expected more of a serious journalism take from ZDNet.

The post did have some interesting news:

I spoke recently with Brammo’s Adrian Stewart at the company HQ and factory in Ashland, Oregon. He says Brammo can build a new cycle each hour on the assembly line. They have space and plans to run two lines simultaneously. An assembly team was working on new Enertias while we talked.

A new Enertia every hour, and the potential to double that capacity.  That is definitely new information and newsworthy.

Also new is this:

The Best Buy distribution requires each participating retail location to have trained sales and service personnel and each site must get the appropriate state license as a car dealer. Brammo is deep in the licensing and training process with its BestBuy partners. Much more costly and complicated than online sales.

The article is worth a read for the Brammofanatics but I keep wondering why the writer didn’t bother to mention the reason why Brammo thought it necessary to include a sound system on its bikes.  Another opportunity to bring attention to the challenges of visually-impaired pedestrians lost.

Below, some new pictures of the assembly line included with the article.


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  1. #1 by 1%er on July 18, 2009 - 12:12 am

    I don’t see what’s so not-serious about customizing the sound on the bike. It’s entirely open to the rider’s interpretation. If that interpretation is riding around with Kiss blaring through the speakers, then more power to our electric brethren.

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